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Outreach Information

Psychology of Eyewitness Memory & Lineup Identification

A complete review of eyewitness evidence should include:

* An analysis of the methods used to extract (a) the description of the perpetrator, (b) the composite likeness that was created, and/or (c) the identification of the suspect from a lineup array, mug book, or showup.  Certain procedures are more likely to yield false identifications.

* Whether certain conditions were present that may have increased the likelihood of a false identification, including: (a) whether the interaction involved a cross-racial identification; (b) the age of the witness; (c) the timing of the interaction, quality of lighting, and distance between the witness and perpetrator; (d) the degree of violence, stress, and affect experienced by the witness at the time of the crime event, including whether a weapon may have been used; (e) whether the witness may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crime event; (f) whether a disguise, hat/hood, or sunglasses were used by the perpetrator; and (g) whether the perpetrator was a familiar individual to the witness, and/or the origin of the witness's perceived familiarity for the suspect.

* An assessment of the structural "fairness" of the lineup array that was used for the identification. 

Several review articles on the Psychology of Eyewitness Memory & Lineup Identification are referenced below that both attorneys and law enforcement may find useful.  

Brigham, J. C., Wasserman, A. W., & Meissner, C. A. (1999). Disputed eyewitness identification evidence: Important legal and scientific issues. Court Review, 36, 12-25.

Malpass, R. S., Zimmerman, L. A, Meissner, C. A., Ross, S. J., Rigoni, M. E., Topp, L. D., Pruss, N., Tredoux, C. T., & Leyva, J. M. (2005). Eyewitness memory and identification. The San Antonio Defender, 7, 2-13.

Tredoux, C. G., Meissner, C. A., Malpass, R. S., & Zimmerman, L. A. (2004). Eyewitness identification. In C. Spielbergerís (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology (pp. 875-887). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Contact Information for Experts in this Area:

Dr. Jack Brigham, Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Steve Clark, University of California at Riverside (Riverside, CA).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Brian Cutler, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Charlotte, NC). 
[website]  [email]
Dr. Deborah Davis, University of Nevada at Reno (Reno, NV).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Amy Bradfield Douglass, Bates College (Lewiston, ME).
Dr. Ronald Fisher, Florida International University (Miami, FL).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Solomon Fulero, Sinclair College (Dayton, OH).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, University of California at Irvine (Irvine, CA).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Roy Malpass, University of Texas at El Paso (El Paso, TX).  [website]  [email] 
Dr. Otto MacLin, University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA).   [website]  [email]
Dr. Amina Memon, University of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, Scotland).   [website]  [email]
Dr. Steven Penrod, John Jay College (New York, NY).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Kathy Pezdek, Claremont Graduate School (Claremont, CA).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Jeffrey Pfeifer, University of Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada).  [website]  [email]
Dr. J. Don. Read, Simon Fraser University (British Columbia, Canada).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Nadja Schreiber, Florida International University (Miami, FL).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Michael Toglia, SUNY Cortland (Cortland, NY).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Gary Wells, Iowa State University (Aimes, IA).  [website]  [email]
Dr. Daniel Yarmey, University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada).  [website]  [email]



Investigative Interviewing Research Laboratory
Eyewitness Memory  *  Detecting Deception  *  Interrogations & Confessions